Eric, just out of curiosity -- where did you come by the belief that "By
definition, union trade workers are masters of their craft and should only
be studied in that context"?
This would be the "journeyman" position of union trade worker. Once they
have achieved that level they have followed the different stratas, levels,
(insert favorite social term here) of training they are considered to be
masters of their craft. When they are practicing "journeyman" they are
certainly acting differently than the apprentice who may be a card carrying
union member. Make sense?
I would also like to reiterate that when studying human action it is
important to clarify whether a study is idiographic (an individual's
growth) or nomothetic (a study of a particular trait over a group of
For instance a study of "journeyman" carpenters may illicit the data that
none of those studied ever do the taping of the drywall they install. As
compared to "apprentice" carpenters who would sometimes decide to do the
taping. This would e a nomothetic study. An idiographic study of the
carpenter trade would follow the individual practice of one carpenter in
Maybe this only make sense to me?
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